Monday, July 28, 2008

FO: Clapotis o' Human Bondage...and a bit o' crochet

Finally, we have an FO 'round these here parts...

Clapotis o' Human Bondage
Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM color P117, 5.5 skeins
Needles: US 4
Modifications: More increases and more straight rows for a proper-sized Clapotis.

Although I enjoyed making this, I named it the Clapotis o' Human Bondage because 1) I will forever link this to reading Of Human Bondage and 2) it really does slog on through the last bit of straight rows.

When I bought the Koigu, I battled a terrible guilty conscience due to the 'spensive-ness of the yarn. However, I had coveted this yarn for quite a while and decided that since I couldn't get it out of my head, I should buy it and make something that I could keep for a looooooong time. Clapotis it was.

Despite giving up on my last Clapotis, this one was not difficult to stay faithful to. Koigu is like buttah. These colors are subtle but rich and will make a perfect scarf (see above pic) for many winters to come. It can also serve as a wrap:

And as ninja headgear:

The Clapotis, I have discovered, is lovely as a thin, lightweight fabric. The fingering weight is perfect on US 4s for a warm but feathery wrap. The dropped stitches and the wrong side look--appropriately--like waves and pebbles.

I also dug out this oooold project:

This crochet bag is the Caban pattern from Rowan 35. It's made of Reynolds Saucy and it was my first crochet project, ever. I loved the bag so much that I bit the bullet and learned to use a hook properly. I'm thinking of making another one now that I am much better at crochet (if you look closely, those bobbles don't quite alternate at even intervals).

Also, this project taught me that my sewing/finishing skills were lacking:

Since I didn't know how to do it, I just whipstitched the lining to the bag. That resulted in this:

Note to self: Whipstitching is not a very sturdy way to put together a bag.

But in other crochet news:

I couldn't stop myself anymore. I hate alternating yarns every round because it creates so many ends to weave in, but I found a perfect compromise between crochet motifs, blankets, and Kureyon Sock.

Do you see those little orange flecks? I love the way Kureyon keeps presenting me with little surprises.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Knit Lit 101

After many attempts to learn to read and knit simultaneously, Sway has finally figured out how to make this magical combination work:

This, my friends, is what happens when one digs up a rusty, seldom-used old music stand, drops it down to eye level, and places a delightful tome upon it to peruse whilst running one's hands over easy-peasy knitting. As you can see, Clapotis 2.0 is coming along nicely.

The book ain't so bad itself...

My good ol' dad is not much of a reader. Mom keeps her hand in by devouring Mary Higgins Clark and Jodi Picoult. Dad, on the other hand, tends to read books with lively titles such as "LAN Networking" and "Internet QoS." He never really got into the habit of reading "for fun" but he always speaks fondly of this book. Methinks this is because this is the only book he ever finished in his entire life.

I walked past a used bookstore a few months ago and noticed this in the dollar bin. And if you know me, you know that I cannot pass by a dollar bin at a used bookstore without plunking down some change.

It's a bit long, but I'm quite enjoying it. For whatever reason, I always feel as though W. Somerset Maugham is speaking directly to me and that he means for me to understand him. Also, Philip Carey seems like my doppelganger. Aside from the club foot. And being male. And British. And, you know, fictional.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Wrapping Up in Comfort


I have had a couple of mean, stressful weeks. It started the last week of June (having to do with miscommunication with the accounting dept. of work) and then continued on through Fourth of July (having to do with miscommunication with friends and family). Not to mention the frickin' storm clouds that have apparently chosen to take up permanent residence over the skies of Manhattan. W. T. F.


How does one go about comforting oneself when it's too hot for chicken soup? Why, one goes to see many summer popcorn movies and then buys up a load of Koigu to make oneself the Clapotis O'Dreams.

Here is Clapotis O'Dreams prior to dropping any stitches. Ain't she a beaut? The colors are less bright than the photo reads and they're all my favorite colors. The blue shifts from dove gray to deep blueberry, the berry shifts from pale carnation pink to dark wine, there's goldenrod and jewel green and some dusty purples scattered about.

I went the marker route this time. My last attempt, with the Colinette, did not end so well. I figured out that 1) I dislike having to purl the dropping stitches on the right side b/c this interrupts my flow during the knit row; 2) I dislike having to knit the dropping stitches on the wrong side b/c this interrupts my flow during the purl row; 3) I like markers. Problem solved, case dismissed!

Also, I don't believe that I really wanted a wrap made of synthetic fiber. While the yarn was gorgeous, the whole thing never felt "right" to me. This time, although pricey, I told myself that I was making an investment. Not only do I love to knit with Koigu, but it holds up fairly well in my socks so it should likewise hold up very well in a wrap. The colors are exactly right for me and gosh darn it, I need a pick-me-up. I'm knitting on a US 4 and added several increase sections for a substantially-sized wrap.

As for movies, over the past week and a half, I've gone to see Wall-E, Wanted, and Hancock. I highly enjoyed Wanted. It starts off so completely over the top that I just settled in to see lots of things exploding and crashing and people hitting each other. Hancock, on the other hand, is fairly entertaining but I was getting dizzy from some of the camera movements (not a fan of the "let's spin the camera around the hero's head a dozen times" move) and the surprisingly cheap-looking special effects. But the highlight was definitely Wall-E. You must all go see this film. I laughed, I cried, I loved it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Warm Fuzzies

The back of Estela is done. Here she is, attempting not to be a wrinkly mess:

I bought a couple extra balls of this yarn because it looked like I might run out. Will have to do a complete review of the yarn itself once I'm done b/c there are a couple of issues with it that are driving me a little batty. The pattern is heaven.

Speaking of heaven:

I'm making this as a sample for the store. It's a kit of 10 colors of Artyarns Silk Mohair that are knit into a giant stockinette stole with ombre color changes. This one is a neutral colorway, but I know there are brighter colors available. The stockinette is giving me an excellent chance to work on my continental knitting skills and it's easy as pie.

Honestly, I think purl stitches are just more enjoyable in continental knitting. The yarn itself is so soft and squishy that I want to swim in it. Mohair isn't always super-soft, but this stuff really is. I want to make one for myself if I ever get the time later this year. As it is, I am limited to working on this fluffy mohair in my air-conditioned bedroom or the store.

And for more weather-inappropriate knitting, I bought me some oodles of black cashmere:

Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere. Enough to make a shrug. I will be having fun with this shortly.